This article appeared in the Rockhampton morning Bulletin on 22.12.09.
This is an excellent piece for anybody who needs to be educated about
Australia's Coal driven power houses.
Terry is now retired and is in excellent health at age 69. Nobody paid
him to write the article which was, (to their credit), published by
the local press.
Written By Terence Cardwell <[email protected]
The Morning Bulletin.
I have sat by for a number of years frustrated at the rubbish being
put forth about carbon dioxide emissions, thermal coal fired power
stations and renewable energy and the ridiculous Emissions Trading
Frustration at the lies told (particularly during the election) about
global pollution. Using Power Station cooling towers for an example.
The condensation coming from those cooling towers is as pure as that
that comes out of any kettle.
Frustration about the so called incorrectly named man made 'carbon
emissions' which of course is Carbon Dioxide emissions and what it is
supposedly doing to our planet.
Frustration about the lies told about renewable energy and the
deliberate distortion of renewable energy and its ability to replace
fossil fuel energy generation. And frustration at the ridiculous
carbon credit programme which is beyond comprehension.
And further frustration at some members of the public who have not got
a clue about thermal Power Stations or Renewable Energy. Quoting
ridiculous figures about something they clearly have little or no
First coal fired power stations do NOT send 60 to 70% of the energy up
the chimney. The boilers of modern power station are 96% efficient and
the exhaust heat is captured by the economisers and reheaters and heat
the air and water before entering the boilers.
The very slight amount exiting the stack is moist as in condensation
and CO2. There is virtually no fly ash because this is removed by the
precipitators or bagging plant that are 99.98% efficient. The 4% lost
is heat through boiler wall convection.
Coal fired Power Stations are highly efficient with very little heat
loss and can generate massive amount of energy for our needs. They can
generate power at efficiency of less than 10,000 b.t.u. per kilowatt
and cost wise that is very low.
The percentage cost of mining and freight is very low. The total cost
of fuel is 8% of total generation cost and does NOT constitute a major
As for being laughed out of the country, China is building multitudes
of coal fired power stations because they are the most efficient for
bulk power generation.
We have, like, the USA, coal fired power stations because we HAVE the
raw materials and are VERY fortunate to have them. Believe me no one
is laughing at Australia - exactly the reverse, they are very envious
of our raw materials and independence.
The major percentage of power in Europe and U.K. is nuclear because
they don't have the coal supply for the future.
Yes it would be very nice to have clean, quiet, cheap energy in bulk
supply. Everyone agrees that it would be ideal. You don't have to be a
genius to work that out. But there is only one problem---It doesn't
Yes - there are wind and solar generators being built all over the
world but they only add a small amount to the overall power demand.
The maximum size wind generator is 3 Megawatts, which can rarely be
attained on a continuous basis because it requires substantial forces
of wind. And for the same reason only generate when there is
sufficient wind to drive them. This of course depends where they are
located but usually they only run for 45% -65% of the time, mostly
well below maximum capacity. They cannot be relied for a 'base load'
because they are too variable. And they certainly could not be used
for load control.
The peak load demand for electricity in Australia is approximately
50,000 Megawatts and only small part of this comes from the Snowy
Hydro Electric System (The ultimate power Generation) because it is
only available when water is there from snow melt or rain. And yes
they can pump it back but it costs to do that. (Long Story).
Tasmania is very fortunate in that they have mostly hydro electric
generation because of their high amounts of snow and rainfall. They
also have wind generators (located in the roaring forties) but that is
only a small amount of total power generated.
Based on a average generating output of 1.5 megawatts (of unreliable
power) you would require over 33,300 wind generators.
As for solar power generation much research has been done over the
decades and there are two types. Solar thermal generation and Solar
Electric generation but in each case they cannot generate large
amounts of electricity.
Any clean, cheap energy is obviously welcomed but they would NEVER
have the capability of replacing Thermal power generation. So get your
heads out of the clouds, do some basic mathematics and look at the
facts not going off with the fairies (or some would say the extreme
We are all greenies in one form or another and care very much about
our planet. The difference is most of us are realistic. Not in some
idyllic utopia where everything can be made perfect by standing around
holding a banner and being a general pain in the backside.
Here are some facts that will show how ridiculous this financial
madness the government is following. Do the simple maths and see for
According to the 'believers' the CO2 in air has risen from .034% to
.038% in air over the last 50 years.
To put the percentage of Carbon Dioxide in air in a clearer perspective;
If you had a room 12 ft x 12 ft x 7 ft or 3.7 mtrs x 3.7 mtrs x 2.1
mtrs, the area carbon dioxide would occupy in that room would be .25m
x .25m x .17m or the size of a large packet of cereal.
Australia emits 1 percent of the world's total carbon Dioxide and the
government wants to reduce this by twenty percent or reduce emissions
by .2 percent of the world's total CO2 emissions.
What effect will this have on existing CO2 levels?
By their own figures they state the CO2 in air has risen from .034% to
.038% in 50 years.
Assuming this is correct, the world CO2 has increased in 50 years by
Per year that is .004 divided by 50 = .00008 percent. (Getting
confusing -but stay with me).
Of that because we only contribute 1% our emissions would cause CO2 to
rise .00008 divided by 100 = .0000008 percent.
Of that 1%, we supposedly emit, the governments wants to reduce it by
20% which is 1/5th of .0000008 = .00000016 percent effect per year
they would have on the world CO2 emissions based on their own figures.
That would equate to a area in the same room, as the size of a small pin.!!!
For that they have gone crazy with the ridiculous trading schemes,
Solar and roofing installations, Clean coal technology. Renewable
energy, etc, etc.
How ridiculous it that.
The cost to the general public and industry will be enormous. Cripple
and even closing some smaller business.
To the Editor I thought I should clarify. I spent 25 years in the
Electricity Commission of NSW working, commissioning and operating the
various power units. My last was the 4 X 350 MW Munmorah Power Station
near Newcastle. I would be pleased to supply you any information you